Earl of Northumbria

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Earl of Northumbria or Ealdorman of Northumbria was a title in the late Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Scandinavian and early Anglo-Norman period in England. The ealdordom was a successor of the Norse Kingdom of York. In the seventh century, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira were united in the kingdom of Northumbria, but this was destroyed by the Vikings in 867. Southern Northumbria, the former Deira, then became the Viking kingdom of York, while the rulers of Bamburgh commanded territory roughly equivalent to the northern kingdom of Bernicia. In 1006 Uhtred the Bold, ruler of Bamburgh, by command of Æthelred the Unready became ealdorman in the south, temporarily re-uniting much of the area of Northumbria into a single jurisdiction. Uhtred was murdered in 1016, and Cnut then appointed Eric of Hlathir ealdorman at York, but Uhtred's dynasty held onto Bamburgh. After the Norman Conquest the region was divided into multiple smaller baronies, one of which was the earldom of Northumberland, with others like the earldoms of York and numerous autonomous liberties such as the County Palatine of Durham and Liberty of Tynedale.

West Saxon- and Danish-Era ealdormen[edit]

Ealdormen before 1066
Ruler Accession End Notes
Oslac 963×966 975
Thored 975×979 992x994
Ælfhelm c.994 1006
Uhtred of Bamburgh 1006 1016
Eiríkr Hákonarson 1016 1023×1033
Siward 1023×1033 1055
Tostig Godwinson 1055 1065 Deposed after rebellion.
Morcar 1065 c.1068

Post-Conquest ealdormen[edit]

Ealdormen after 1066
Ruler Accession End Notes
Gospatric c. 1068 c. 1068 Unclear if he was just ruler of Bamburgh or what if any jurisdiction he exercised south of the Tyne. Gospatric and his descendants were the forerunners of the earls of Dunbar.[1]
Robert de Comines 1068 1069 Killed by rebels at Durham
Waltheof of Northampton c.1070 1075
Walcher 1075 1080 Also bishop of Durham.
Aubrey de Coucy 1080 1086
Robert de Mowbray c.1086×1090 1095

Anglo-Norman-Era baronial title[edit]

Scottish earls
Ruler Accession End Notes
Henry of Scotland 1139 1152
William of Scotland 1152 1157 Title and holdings confiscated by Henry II of England. Later Purchased by Hugh de Puiset, the Bishop of Durham in 1189, and held until 1191 or so.[2]
Alexander (II) of Scotland 1215 1217 During the First Barons' War, when the barons of Northumberland and York did homage to the Scottish king.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aird, William M. (2004). "Gospatric, earl of Northumbria (d. 1073x5)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11110. Retrieved 25 August 2013. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  2. ^ Barlow, Frank (1988). The Feudal Kingdom of England 1042–1216 (Fourth ed.). New York: Longman. p. 352. ISBN 0-582-49504-0.